The 5am Self

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Bonjour a tous,

I have to admit it, waking up today was difficult. It was difficult because of my 5am self. Let me explain my 5am self. The alarm rings, I go to turn it off. It’s dark in my room and for a split second, literally a split second my 5am self becomes strong. It throws all these arguments as to why I should  stay in bed and not wake up.

“5 more minutes”

“But were so warm here”

“you don’t technically have to wake up at 5:00 today”

“I’m tired”

“I’m tired”

“I’M TIRED”

“You’ll fall back asleep, I promise. Just stay in bed”

I can’t tell you how convincing those arguments have been in the past. 5 more minutes would have been more than enough to keep me in bed. Today as tempting as the 5am self was I actually woke up. That was not easy. I went to sleep earlier the night before, and I still felt tired. It’s been 3 days since my last coffee. I’m trying to cut back on coffee. I would always say don’t talk to me until I have my coffee, because i’m grumpy and not my usual self. It was as if the 5am self  would dissolve at the first sip of coffee. Now i’m drinking herbal tea. It doesn’t mess with my sleep. I’m looking into getting celestial teas. Are those any good? I know nothing of tea, I grew up with coffee so that’s another adventure.

How to defeat 5am self:

At the first hint of hestitation. Don’t stop, just get up. Make it almost a reflex because all it takes is one second of doubt for it to pounce.

Stretch. Move your body. It’s wakes your body up and signals that the day is starting.

Make yourself a routine. Plan what you would like to ideally accomplish the next morning. It doesn’t have to be a lot, so long as you have a plan. What can you do the night before to ensure you follow through? Rememeber the 5am self is strongest at 5am you can’t trust yourself to have tons of willpower in the morning.

Personally my routine has been this: Wake up, take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, have breakfast (I did today!)  Write blog post, make lunch as tea is brewing. I think i’ll try to incorporate working out next week.

I am so happy I’ve chosen to do this. I get more done in the day, feel less stressed, sleep better, and feel more balanced.

Je vous souhaite une bonne journee!

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

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Update: Today I woke up at 5:00am. Thankfully I’ve been “training” myself to do so. 7:30 one day 6:30 another and today 5:00am. Changing my alarm also helped, before I had piano to wake up because I argued that I didn’t want to be “startled awake”. I think that put me sleep quicker, and under warm blankets, you know the feeling i’m sure.  So from the Doctor Who theme song (Thankfully I didn’t wake up to a dalek) To Zen piano, I’ve found a happy medium (for now) The song Kids by MGMT. You see,  the beginning  sounds like when my niece and nephew  are running around the house and in that respect I’m up quickly to make sure they don’t get hurt.

Et voila. Day 2. Bring it. At 5:00 am =)

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

Lao Tzu on Love

Re-focusing New Years Resolutions

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Bonjour mes chers!

With the first week of the new year coming to a close I’ve decided to go about my new years resolutions in another way. What I’ve discovered in this week is that I’m trying to do too much all at once. What I mean by this is that although my resolutions are built in a way that they can all harmiously co-exist, I need to master one, engrain one habit before adding another. That way I build a good foundation and my new years resolutions stick.

The inspiration for this came in two ways:

First, in attempting to complete or rather, cultivate my resolutions I felt unfocused. I felt that If I continued to do everything all at once I would end up doing nothing.

This lead me to remember:

The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin

 On my reference shelf next to Eat Pray Love

Gretchen Rubin and The Happiness Project. In the book Gretchen takes her resolutions and categorizes them by month. She takes the whole month to focus  and work towards a particular goal. She continually challenges herself by then,  adding a new related resolution once she has mastered the first goal. The next month she focuses on another aspect and continues to do so every month.

 How do I plan on re-focusing?

Same principles. By addressing each of my resolutions monthly. So now, for the month of January I will focus on  building a morning routine by waking up early. The goal is 5:00 am everyday. Then I’ll focus on eating breakfast at home before leaving everyday. Once I’ve got those into my system, I’ll be up by 5:00am, have my breakfast and make lunch before leaving my home. If I can manage to squeeze in some time to take a walk, get some writing in or get ahead in my work day that would be amazing.

In Feburary, I will make my plan for maintaining a tidy room and maintaing my french.

I’m excited. I think I can make this work. One step at a time.

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

Spotlight: La Tête en Friche ( My Afternoons with Margueritte)

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Bonjour a tous

Last night I watched a wonderful movie called La  Tête en Friche (My afternoons with Margueritte)  Gerard Depardieu played Germaine and Gisele Casadesus played Margueritte. I loved the film and could not wait to tell you about it. This movie is funny, heartfelt and sincere. It shows us the power of friendship, of shared moments, that it’s never too late to make a friend and most importantly, that we can change our lives at any moment.

I shall leave you with the trailer.
If you have netflix you can watch it there =)

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

French Music Friday : Benjamin Biolay

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Bonjour bonjour!

The first week of the year is officially gone! Today we will be listening to Benjamin Biolay. I love listening to him.  First, he has a smooth voice which I find easy to listen to. I have to admit it is a bit of dreamy.  Secondly, you’ll probably laugh and think I’m crazy or think ” oh yeah I see it” Here goes, Biolay reminds me of Benecio del toro. Alright, now picture them together. Huh? huh? yes. no? Maybe? Third, the majority of his videos are in black and white. Self explanatory, I think by now we know J’adore black and white photography, and video. Let’s take a listen shall we?

Other tracks to listen to:

Aime mon Amour

Dans le merco benz

La Superbe

Tu es mon amour

I had to!

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

A Soiree of artists

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Bonjour mes chers,

If you could have a soiree with any artist, dead or alive, from any time period, who would you have?

After writing my blog post yesterday on Auguste Rodin, I started to think deeper about the question. So I started listing, this is my list for now but as the years go by it may change as I get more knowledge and learn about new artists.

All the artists on this list are here because they inspire me. I have huge amounts of respect and admiration for them. All these artists have one thing in common and that is their passion for everything. It is embedded in their work, the relationships they had, their friendships and the legacy they left behind.

The evening would consist of food from around the world, Wine (of course) and lively discussion in various languages.

In no particular order:

Auguste Rodin- Sculptor Born November 12th 1840

Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin: Sculptor. Born November 12 1840. French. Incredibly talented man. The thinker, The kiss. Yeah that’s him. Favourite quote: ” “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live. Be a man before being an artist!”

coco_chanel

Coco Chanel- Photo By © Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel: Fashion Designer. Born August 19th 1883. French. Strong, wise, hardworking woman and style icon. Founder of the Chanel brand. Little black dress, yeah that’s her.  Favourite quote: “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

Federico Garcia Lorca- http://boppin.com

Federico Garcia Lorca- http://boppin.com

Federico Garcia Lorca: Poet, Playwright, Composer. Born June 5th 1898. Spanish.  Known for the rural tragedies. Blood Wedding, Yerma, The house of bernarda Alba. Lorca wrote with vivid poetic detail. He wrote about love, death, passion, betrayal and honour. Favourite quote: In Spain, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world”

Pina Bausch- google images

Pina Bausch- Google images

Philippina “Pina” Bausch: Dancer, choreographer, former ballet director of Tanztheatre Wuppertal. Born July 27th 1940. German. Pina presented stunning, breathtaking work. She believed in using the elements and in an honest exchange between performer and audience member. Words are not enough to express, you have to experience Pina. Watch the documentary “Pina” Just do it.  Favourite quote: “To understand what I am saying, you have to believe that dance is something other than technique. We forget where the movements come from. They are born from life. When you create a new work, the point of departure must be contemporary life — not existing forms of dance.”

Pablo Picasso- pablopicasso.org

Pablo Picasso- pablopicasso.org

Pablo Picasso. Painter. Spanish. Born October 25 1881. A man of many talents from wooing the ladies, to paint, to mixed media. Picasso embraced the changes in his  life and used it to influence his body of work. His essence lives in his work. Favourite quote: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Honourable Mention:

Henri-cartier Bresson

Edith Piaf

Yves Saint Laurent

Who would be on your list?

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

Auguste Rodin: The man behind the thinker and the kiss

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Bonsoir a tous

For some time I’ve been wanting to write about the legendary Rodin. I remember my first experience of Rodin, I was in the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and I saw it: the  famous sculpture called the thinker. It wasn’t the real thing but despite that I stared at that sculpture for a while. I questioned what is he thinking about? Was this a real man posing for Rodin? What was Rodin thinking about when he sculpted it? Was he thinking of anything at all? I have enormous respect for sculptors, the fact that they can create something with life-like detail out of something like marble or bronze, it feels as if the works of art are alive. I remember staring at sculptures, the fingers, the lines, the facial expressions, the clothing or lack of clothing. If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Doctor who” don’t blink. (mini inside joke between doctor fans ) It is impossible to talk about Rodin without mentioning the passionate relationship with his student Camille Claudel. She served as a muse and worked alongside him for various years before her decent into madness. The mystery behind Claudel is still pondered today with films and plays inspired by their relationship. Rodin’s trajectory is unique, including le baiser (the kiss) the gates of hell ( his unfinished work) mains des amants (Lovers hands and one of my personal favorites) Rodin can capture contrasting emotions of happiness and anguish. Passion and grace. If I could have a soiree with a group of artists from any period, Rodin would be in that list.  If your ever in Paris you should check out  Musee Rodin. It’s one thing to see pictures of his works  it’s another to stand before the sculpture itself. To know that you are witnessing a work of art that has been around probably longer than you have, that the artist’s essence is found within,  and that you are sharing a collective experience with those in the museum.

You can visit the museum’s website here

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

Happy New Year: a poem pour vous

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Bonjour à tous

Happy New Year! I thought I would share a poem that gives me a sense of inspiration for the journey ahead.  I hope it can shed some light on wherever you are in your journey.

Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis- Le Petit Parisien 1952

The Optimists Creed Authour unknown

Promise yourself to be so stong that nothing  can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health and happiness with every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are of your own.

To forget mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too LARGE for worry too NOBLE for anger too STRONG for fear and too HAPPY to permit the prescence of trouble.

Update: So I welcomed the  New year with an ACHOOO.  Neo citran in hand,  I raise my mug to wish you all  a lovely 2013.  All the best.

A la prochaine,

De moi, pour toi

New Years Resolutions 2013- Year of the Snake

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Bonjour tout le monde!

With the new year coming to a close it’s  time to look back on 2012 and make resolutions for the upcoming year. 2013 will be the year of the snake, as a fellow snake is it safe to say that this will be my year? Whatever the year holds I hope to continously work on growing, and look forward to shaing my experiences with you. I’m sure i’ll have stories to share.

1. Wake up Early.

I am not an early bird in the slightest. I love to sleep. When I can, I sleep in as much as I can. This means I have fewer hours in the day to get things done and if it’s one I want to avoid its stress. I want to not just get things done but do them at my own pace.

2. Make my lunch and coffee at home.

This is a toughie. So is waking up early for that matter, but I try to do this one every year, I’m good for a week and then I slack off. But hey, I’ve learned some things from not being successful before. I need to schedule my meals in advance go shopping before and most importantly discipline and motivate myself to continue. It’s healthier, tastier and will generate huge savings. I can spend those savings on a trip to Spain or go back to Paris but for longer time.

3. Say no.

I have a lot of trouble with this one. Naturally, I love to help people. I will always put family and work before doing anything for myself. This isn’t to say that no will become my mantra. I just need to accept that it’s not a crime to say no, people won’t hate me and stick to my guns about it. No I will not babysit when I clearly need to study, No I will not take on any more projects until I’m finished what I’m currently working on. No I can’t go out this week and would prefer if you didn’t insist. No. Ah, I feel better already.

4. Step out of my comfort zone.

I don’t know exactly how this will play out yet. But I want to do more things that will be new and foreign to me. I have a good friend who I know will be useful in that department.  It sounds good in theory but I’ll probably be kicking myself later, and then I’ll be happy I did it.  What a cycle but it always happens.

5.  Maintain My French.

I need to read more. And Gulp. Talk to more people. I’m getting better but I want to push myself to speak confidently with more people. Pushing myself out of comfort zone, this can work.

6. Laugh more. Hug more. Trust more.

Trusting more will be the most difficult one to accomplish. I put up walls, with everyone. Sometimes I think that’s all people see. I need to make bridges. I need to show the people in my life I care, I know they know, but I also know that they somehow wish I would show it more.  Or show it in different ways. I guess trusting more is also out of my comfort zone. Trust more. Good things will come out of it.

What are your New year’s resolutions? Do you have any advice that could help me with mine?

A la prochaine,

De moi pour toi

Last French Music Friday OF 2012!

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Bonsoir a tous!

I can’t believe it’s the last friday of the year!

Where is the time going???

I was going to post my new years resolutions and then I remembered the date.

Well the ideal song I would post would be Edith Piaf’s Non je ne regrette rien.

No regrets let’s look forward to the new year and moments ahead.

I posted the song already on a French Music Friday.

You can hear it here.

Today we’ll  also listen to Brune- Rupture song

A la Prochaine,

De moi pour toi